Bourque behind schedule

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

So much for a summer of rest and a bit of rehabilitation for Rene Bourque.

The Calgary Flames left-winger is on the mend -- he should be fine for training camp -- but needed surgery on his left ankle in mid-July.

"It wasn't getting better, so we went in, did a little scope and cleaned some stuff up," Bourque said. "It helped a lot. It's feeling better now. I'm still a little behind, but it feels a lot better from where it was, especially where I was in playoffs."

Bourque missed the final 24 regular-season games after being injured in the Feb. 19 game against the Wild in Minnesota. It was diagnosed as a high-ankle sprain, and he returned for the playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"We missed a few things and I hurt it more in playoffs," Bourque admitted.

"In Game 3 here, I got hit.

"I had a couple of bone chips they took out and the tendon was fixed. It feels better, but I have room for improvement."

When it wasn't improving with just rehabilitation, Bourque went for another MRI and X-rays and found the problems, so surgery was performed with the hopes he'll be ready to go when training camp begins.

"I'll start camp, for sure. I feel good on the ice, but we'll see how it feels when we get into contact," he said.

"Summer hockey is a joke, you don't get hit, and when you really feel it is when you get into contact and around the boards and the tempo gets faster.

"I'm hoping it'll be fine and responds well, but I'm going to make sure. I'm not going to re-injure it in camp if I don't feel great."

Bourque is among a handful of players who ended the season either out due to injury or battling through pain, including centre Daymond Langkow (hands) and defencemen Mark Giordano (shoulder), Dion Phaneuf (sternum) and Cory Sarich (ankle).

The Flames will need Bourque to recover as quickly as possible. He's coming off a 21-goal, 40-point season and the team will need him on the top two lines.

"Yeah, I can't go down. I have to go up," he said.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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